Spring 2016 Courses
Exciting Academic Opportunities
OPEN COURSES FOR COM CREDIT
COM 495A Innovation Readiness: Cultivating an Innovation Mindset
COM 495C Political Writing*
*Counts towards writing credit
COM 495E Cyber Information Security in Russia & Post Soviet Space
Pol S 306 Media, Society, and Political Identity
Offered: jointly with COM 306
This course explores the broad outlines of society, politics, and identity with a focus on the media as agencies for representing popular desires and self images. Branding and image making deliver consumer versions of both politics and products tailored to the emotions of individuals. We leave dense personal data trails in the online world that become part of the process of marketing and branding to ourselves and to our friends.
Meanwhile, we live with the larger reality of producing and consuming huge volumes of new stuff that must become obsolete and discarded in order to have economic growth. The bi-partisan political goal of growing the economy has run into global economic and environmental problems. The US is still struggling to restart an economy burdened with under-employment, growing inequality, heavy personal credit loads, and carbon energy dependency. The European Union has its own version of the debt and growth crises, challenging the future of the EU itself. Chinese growth has slowed and the environmental quality for hundreds of millions of citizens has deteriorated to the point of becoming dangerous to their health. However, cleaning up the environment and finding better ways to run the economy are often dismissed as costly threats to economic growth. Few politicians seem able to embrace or promote new ideas about what to do. We will explore the reasons for these political problems and look at alternatives.
As young citizens enter societies that no longer seem to work for majorities of people, growing numbers have less faith in parties and government to secure the future. Americans are waking up to soaring costs of education and threats to the American Dream. How did all this happen? Why is it so hard to deal with? What happened to the capacity of government to deal with big problems? Where do we go from here? This course aims to help you think about these questions.
Work includes short writing assignments, an in-class mid term, and take home final. Discussion section and lecture attendance are important.
OPEN COURSES OF INTEREST
The following courses are *not* eligible for COM credit.